Swabb, Erik

Erik F. Swabb

Erik Swabb represents clients facing high-stakes investigations, corporate crises, congressional inquiries, and other matters at the intersection of law and public policy. Mr. Swabb has particular experience in matters related to defense and national security. Prior to rejoining the firm in 2019, he served as General Counsel of the US Senate Armed Services Committee and Special Adviser to the Legal Adviser of the US Department of State.

As General Counsel of the US Senate Armed Services Committee from 2017 to 2018 under Chairman John McCain, Mr. Swabb reviewed and advised on all nominations referred to the committee. He managed the committee’s nominations process and facilitated bipartisan support for over 40 civilian nominations and over 20,000 military nominations confirmed by the Senate. In addition, he helped ensure the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual defense policy bill that authorizes funding and provides authorities for the US Department of Defense. He also advised on oversight and legislative matters, as well as ethics compliance for committee staff. As Special Adviser to the Legal Adviser of the US Department of State from 2018 to 2019, Mr. Swabb provided counsel to the Department’s top lawyer on a wide range of issues, including congressional oversight, foreign assistance, international claims, and international law.

From 2010 to 2017, Mr. Swabb practiced law at WilmerHale, representing companies and individuals in government and internal investigations, congressional inquiries, government contracts litigation, and national security-related regulatory matters. In 2015, he left the firm and served as a policy advisor for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign.

Prior to his legal career, Mr. Swabb served as an infantry officer in the US Marine Corps from 2002 to 2006. He led a light armored reconnaissance platoon on combat operations in Iraq and supervised unit training as the second-in-command of a company. After law school, Mr. Swabb returned to active duty from 2009 to 2010 to serve in the UN Mission in Liberia. He directed multinational operations for information collection in a remote border region and managed the drawdown of the UN peacekeeping force.

Mr. Swabb maintains an active pro bono practice representing military veterans seeking disability and other benefits.


    • Counsel for a market-leading company in parallel civil and criminal investigations by the US Department of Justice
    • Counsel for companies and individuals, including current and former senior government officials, in congressional inquiries and hearings
    • Counsel for major companies in anti-money laundering and sanctions investigations
    • Counsel for a global financial institution in an anti–money laundering and sanctions investigation by the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
    • Counsel for a large defense contractor in an action against the US Air Force concerning the launch of military satellites through discovery and trial before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals
    • Counsel for a large defense contractor in a dispute with a subcontractor involving contracted services in Afghanistan
    • Counsel for companies in connection with regulatory strategies and filings related to national security 

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Harvard Law School, 2009

      Supervising Editor, Harvard Journal on Legislation
    • BA, Political Science, Columbia University, 2002

      summa cum laude Phi Beta Kappa
  • Admissions

    • District of Columbia

    • New York

  • Government Experience

    • Federal Legislative Branch

      US Senate

      General Counsel, Committee on Armed Services
    • Department of State

      Special Adviser to the Legal Adviser of the Department of State